Varanasi court sacked the surveyor for leaking a photo of shivling which Muslims say is the pillar of fountain (wazukhana) found across all old mosques, but the damage has been done.
By Dr. M Qutubuddin, Chicago
There is little doubt that the court-ordered survey of Varanasi’s Gyanvapi Masjid complex was a politically-motivated move aimed at stoking up another emotive issue to polarise society along communal lines. The Muslim side since the day one had been opposed to the ‘conspicuous move’.
Clearly, the local court violated the Places of Worship Act which “prohibits conversion of any place of worship” and maintain their ‘religious character’ as it existed on 15 August 1947. Further, the caretakers of the mosque demanded, at least, the replacement of the court-appointed advocate commissioner accusing him of bias, but to no avail. Finally, as feared, the surveyor dropped the grain of doubt by leaking a photo of ‘shivling’ which was swiftly lapped up by the television news media with anchors almost going berserk – establishing the existence of the replica of the Hindu god’s private organ. Later, however, the Varanasi court sacked the surveyor for the photo leak. Doesn’t it appear ironic?
Given the sensitivity of the case, the judges should not be naïve. They should have taken up precautionary measures, but the whole affairs from the beginning apparently made Muslim doubtful. Excuses and eyewash do not suffice when the surveyor already faced accusation of bias. Precisely, the Muslim party perhaps knew the cunningness and biases of the surveyor whose sacking now is a futile exercise. The ‘visible ghosts’ have achieved the purpose. The Muslims now could go on shouting from the rooftops that the said photo is of fountains which are found in every old mosque, but they will not be heard.
Now, the BJP is no longer required to spearhead any movement for it, like it did for Ram Mandir in 1990s, for electoral benefits as the saffron party knows the more society remains divided, the better it gets. However, the BJP is likely to back groups to mobilise Hindus. In a year or two, common Hindus would be sufficiently indoctrinated by the media by setting a narrative around the existence of ‘shivling’. The drama has begun. Interestingly not only common Hindus, but the Muslims, who do not believe even in the existence of Hindu gods, too are being forced to accept the ‘shivling’ presence in the mosque in television debates. History says these characters are mythical but common Hindus believe in their divine powers.
However Muslims need patience courage and faresightedness to overcome situation like we are facing. This is only the way out. Any kind of fear may turn the situation against us.